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Gear with a well-honed edge


When the Head Ski Company launched a line of ski apparel last year, its designers were put on their mettle to match their metal. The manufacturers of the ski that revolutionized recreational skiing were determined that the clothes should have an equal cachet. A metal ski is one thing to engineer, but ski clothes are full of variables—like fit, fabric and, most variable of all, fashion. As the clothes on the following pages show, the Head gear comes as close to being engineered as clothes can be. The nylon used in jump suits is the superstrong nylon used in computer ribbons. The layered insulation used in parkas is so efficient that a yard weighs only five and a half ounces. The two-way stretch fabric developed especially for Head pants has a backing of terrylike loops for extra warmth. Seams are triple stitched, zippers the best that Switzerland produces. All of these details make the clothes expensive, but this has not hurt business—300 stores now carry the line. The clothes were photographed at Aspen during Interski—a setting as full of style as the garments themselves.

The best news in ski fashion is the warmup suit. Racers have been pulling bulky warmup pants over their streamlined gear since Squaw Valley 1960. Head has streamlined the warmup itself and made it a one-piece jump suit meant to ski in. Suki Whittemore, Ann Burrows and Chip Fisher top their warmups with helmets to achieve a spaceman look.

The Head skiwear line includes everything a skier might need down to his long Johns. For cold standing-around Ann Burrows (opposite page), shown watching the demonstrations at Interski, wears a maxilength nylon trench coat warmed up with a lynx collar. Betsy Glenn of the U.S. Interski squad wears the silver-and-black jump suit Head made for the team. The one-piece belted men's racing suit worn by Clay Freeman is made of two-way-stretch fabric. On this page Janet Sanders wears a racing shell with Head's over-the-boot pants, and Chip Fisher and Ann Burrows wear insulated vests over Head's sweater and jersey shirt.

Tom Dunne and Bud Ortega (left) head for a run in Aspen powder wearing Head's high-necked sweaters and radical pants. They are cinched under the boot and have seams fore and aft instead of on the sides. Chip Fisher and Suki Whittemore (right) wear racing pants made skintight by two-way stretch. Both of their parkas have action-back inserts of stretch nylon knit.

Where to buy the clothes

The warmup suits on page 59 are made of dense waterproof nylon insulated with polyester and foam. The action-back and waist inserts are of stretch nylon. There are zippers down both sides to allow jump suits to be donned with your boots on. The women's suit is $95, the men's $98. On the following two pages Ann Burrows' double-breasted coat with detachable collar is $140. The Adolpho lynx hat is $275. Betsy Glenn's jump suit is $140. Clay Freeman's racing suit with front and back seams and a stand-up collar is $200. The double-nylon racing shell worn by Janet Sanders is $45. Her pants are of imported stretch with leather patches where the boots rub and zippers at heel for snug fit. They cost $60. Chip Fisher's zippered vest is shown over a double-knit V-neck sweater. His warmup pants have two full-length zippers. The vest is $30, the sweater $36 and the pants $35. Ann's vest has a snap closure and costs $30. It is worn over a wool-jersey ski shirt that costs $30. On the facing page Tom Dunne's sweater is a triple-knit with terry-loop backing for extra warmth. It costs $52. Bud Ortega's sweater is double-knit and costs $60. Their pants are $60. Chip Fisher's and Suki Whittemore's parkas (above) are $55 each, their pants $75. The helmets are by Bell-Toptex and Swooper, goggles by Norski and Head, gloves by Head. The Head ski wear can be found at Alpenhaus, Sacramento; Dayton's, Minneapolis; Hudson's Ski Shop, Detroit; Osborn & Ulland, Seattle; Carroll Reed Ski Shops, North Conway, N.H.; Saks Fifth Avenue, Aspen and New York; Ski Inc., Denver; Streeter & Quarles, Boston and Montreal; Sturtevant of Sun Valley, Idaho.